Stamps of 2023: Sweden (January 2023)

Jan. 12, 2023

Hello There!

On January 12, 2023, Sweden Postnord will release a booklet of ten self-adhesive stamps titled “Hello There!”. According to Frimärken – Postnord Stamp News January 2023 issue:

The pink elephant from the children’s program “Fem myror är fler än fyra elefanter” (Five ants are more than four elephants) is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The popularity of the friendly pink elephant seems to pass on from generation to generation. Now you can send a greeting with the expressive/iconic elephant placed in the top right corner of your card or letter.

Fem myror är fler än fyra elefanter (Five ants are more than four elephants) was a 1973–75 Swedish TV-series for children, hosted by Magnus Härenstam, Brasse Brännström and Eva Remaeus. The TV series included songs and sketches with education about letters, numbers, positions (right, left, under, above, etc.), etc. Fem myror är fler än fyra elefanter was first broadcast on November 19, 1973, on TV2 by Sveriges Television.

Besides entertaining children, Magnus (“a pedant”), Brasse (“a slob”) and Eva (“a proper person”) wanted to make children interested in letters and numbers and every 30-minute program had one letter and one number as a theme. Fem myror was produced by Bengt Linné & Lasse Haglund, the music was written by Bengt Ernryd and the lyrics were written by Magnus & Brasse. The animations were made by Owe Gustafson. The voice-overs were by Magnus Härenstam as Magnus, Brasse Brännström as Brasse, and Eva Remaeus as Eva with Monica Zetterlund and Tomas Löfdahl providing narration.

Fem myror included sketches, such as Brasse’s fun box (“lattjo-lajban-låda”), where Brasse presented four animals of which one doesn’t belong with the others and should be removed. Magnus and Eva had to guess but Brasse always thought they’re wrong; the purpose of this sketch was to teach children that one thing may have more than one property.

In 1977, Fem myror was broadcast as Sveriges Television’s Christmas calendar. Normally julkalendern is broadcast December 1–24, but because Fem myror had one program for every letter in the Swedish alphabet, it was broadcast from November 27 and then as such, it was able to have shows for all the (then) 28 letters until December 24. (W was not considered as a separate letter until 2006, but rather as a variation of V.)

In 2006, Fem myror was voted ‘Best children’s TV-series’ at Folktoppen with more than 50% of the votes. The show was later released on VHS and DVD and there are also PC games. The animated number segments by Owe Gustafson were later exported to the American television series Sesame Street.

Hello there!
Date of issue: January 12, 2023
Illustration: Owe Gustafson
Colors: 7 colors
Paper: Self-adhesive
Format, booklet stamps: 36.6 x 26.5 mm

Jan. 12, 2023

500 Years of Sweden

On January 12, 2023, Sweden will release a set of stamps marking the country’s 500th anniversary and featuring significant buildings. Five of these appear in a self-adhesive booklet pane alongside Priority Mail labels with an additional design portraying Stockholm City Hall in a coil roll of 100 stamps. Finally, a gummed miniature sheet containing four of the Strykjarnet design (in a slightly larger format stamp) is included.

Stamp 1: Kalmar Slott and Gustav Visas Bibel

Kalmar Castle (Kalmar slott) is a castle in the province of Småland, Sweden.

During the twelfth century a round defensive tower was built on Kalmarsund and a harbor constructed. At the end of the thirteenth century King Magnus Ladulås had a new fortress built with a curtain wall, round corner towers and two square gatehouses surrounding the original tower. Located near the site of Kalmar’s medieval harbor, it has played a crucial part in Swedish history since its initial construction as a fortified tower in the 12th century.

One of the most significant political events in Scandinavia took place at Kalmar Castle in 1397, where the Kalmar Union was formed — a union of Denmark, Norway and Sweden (including Finland), organized by Queen Margaret I of Denmark. During the Swedish rebellion against Denmark in 1520, the fortress was commanded by Anna Eriksdotter (Bielke), who at the death of her spouse, Johan Månsson Natt och Dag, in the middle of the rebellion against Denmark in 1520, took control over his fiefs and defended Kalmar against Denmark.

Kalmar Castle, Sweden, photographed on September 4, 2011.

The fortress was improved during the 16th century under the direction of King Gustav I and his sons King Eric XIV and King John III, who turned the medieval fortress into a castle fit for a renaissance king.

The garrison was loyal to King Sigismund during the rebellion by Duke Charles, and continued to hold out even after Sigismund was decisively defeated at the Battle of Stångebro. The castle was therefore besieged by the duke’s forces in March 1599, and was compelled to surrender on 12 May. The three commanders were subsequently killed, along with nineteen other members of the garrison, in a mass execution traditionally known as the Second Kalmar Bloodbath.

Kalmar Castle suffered heavy damage during the Siege of Kalmar, the main engagement and namesake of the Kalmar War (1611-3), and was badly damaged by a fire in 1642. Repairs were begun, but from the end of the seventeenth century the castle was allowed to fall into disrepair.

Kalmar Castle, Sweden, as seen from the northeastern side. Photograph taken by Alexandru Baboş on October 2, 2009.

In 1856, architect Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander (1816–1881) initiated reconstruction/restoration work at Kalmar Castle. His pupil Helgo Zettervall continued restoring Kalmar Castle in the 1880s. Architect Carl Möller drew up the plans and other documents. The work began in 1885 and by 1891 the castle had gained the silhouette it bears today. In 1919 professor Martin Olsson was charged with the continuing restoration of earthworks, the moat, the bridge and the drawbridge. Work continued until 1941, when the castle was once more surrounded by water. Today, it is one of Sweden’s best preserved renaissance castles and is open to the public.

The Gustav Vasa Bible (Gustav Vasas bibel) is the common name of the Swedish Bible translation published in 1540–41. The full title is: Biblia / Thet är / All then Helgha Scrifft / på Swensko (“The Bible / That is / All the Holy Scripture / In Swedish”).

The men behind the translation were Laurentius Andreae and the Petri brothers Olaus and Laurentius. Of them, Archbishop Laurentius is regarded as the main contributor. However, had the work not been commissioned by the Swedish King Gustav Vasa, who had in effect broken with the Pope in Rome in the 1520s, the work would not have been possible.

The Bible follows the German translation by Martin Luther from 1526 closely, not only in language, but in the fonts used and the typography as a whole. The Danish version, printed a few years earlier, also did this. The Bible established the use of the Swedish language. It established a uniform spelling of words, particularly the infinitive ending -a instead of the more Danish-sounding -e, and defined the use of the vowels å, ä and ö. It did use th for /ð/, as in English, as is apparent on the title page; but this eventually changed to d.

This Bible was reprinted as a facsimile in 1938 and 1960. Few people today, however, are able to read the text with ease. This has to do partly with the spelling and partly with the typeface.

Stamp 2: East India House, Gothenburg and Swedish Coffee Pot

East India House is located at Norra Hamngatan 12 in the Nordstaden district of Gothenburg. It was built in 1747–1762 by the Swedish East India Company and was declared a listed building on October 24, 1968.

After the East India Company had its privileges renewed for 20 years to come in 1746 — the second East India Company — the Executive Board decided to purchase all the burnt-off plots in the block between Smedjegatan and Tyggårdsgatan, which were free after the great fire that year. At the same time, the city engineer Bengt Wilhelm Carlberg was commissioned to come up with proposals for a combined office and warehouse building for the company. The outer dimensions of the burned-off block were about 70 by 55 meters square.

East India House, Gothenburg, Sweden, photographed in 1977.

Carlberg had to send up his drawings for approval by the baron, superintendent and architect Carl Hårleman in Stockholm which strongly influenced the final design and both are now considered to have left their mark on the house. In 1752 the east wing facing Tyggårdsgatan was completed, in June 1755 “the newly erected foundation wall of the great Corps de logis – the building facing the harbour” is mentioned, and about 1760 the main building was completed after being damaged by the fire of 1758. With the west wing completed in 1762, the entire building was finished, according to an inscription previously found on one of the basement floor’s stone pillars. In October 1766, Gustav III, as Crown Prince of the East India Company, visited the premises together with his future consort Sofia Magdalena.

The East India House is mostly built of brick. The corps-de-lodge is stated to be constructed of Dutch clinker. It took a whopping 937,000 bricks for the corps-de-lodge and 883,000 bricks for the west wing. The imported brick was probably mainly used for the exterior facades, while the non-visible brick could be manufactured in Sweden.

Various sources show that the East India House’s farm was paved during the 1700s and early 1800s, but in 1835 the museum board decided to allocate 600 riksdaler to plantings. In Octavia Carlén’s book from 1869 this is referred to as the Museum Herb Garden. She states that the size of the farm was 152 feet long and 120 feet wide.

A staircase in East India House, Gothenburg, Sweden, photographed by Alicia Fagerving on February 26, 2013.

On May 29, 1813, the East India Company was dissolved at the general meeting in Stockholm.

In 1835, the Gothenburg Museum of Natural History rented two rooms in the East India House. Later, the idea of a larger museum with several specializations was born which led to the formation of the Gothenburg Museum, opening on December 20, 1861. At the time, the Natural History Museum occupied half the house while the newly formed art department and a historical collection occupied other parts. The largest donation to the new art department came from the Gothenburg Art Association, which at this time was also housed in the premises and was also one of the initiators of the formation of the Gothenburg Museum Drawing School, starting its activities in the building in 1865. In the same year, Gustaf Henrik Brusewitz took over as first curator responsible for ethnography as head of the museum’s historical-ethnographic department, including the archaeological collections. The department’s collections were then housed in five cabinets.

Wilson wing in the courtyard of the East India House, Gothenburg, Sweden, photographed by Rolf Broberg on September 30, 2011.

A new wing facing Köpmansgatan, the so-called Wilson wing paid for by wholesaler John West Wilson, was designed by architect Hans Hedlund, built in 1890 and inaugurated on May 15 of the same year. A major rebuilding work was also carried out in the years 1894-1896. Despite this, as early as the mid-1890s, the premises were considered insufficient for the various activities, and in February 1914 the city’s rulers were courted about the need for new premises. Both the art society and the art school had moved to the newly built Valandhuset as early as 1886. With the Jubilee Exhibition in 1923, several new museum buildings were built in the city, which is why the Gothenburg Museum of Natural History was able to move into new premises in Slottsskogen in 1923 and the Gothenburg Museum Art Department in the new art museum at Götaplatsen in 1925. Left in the East India House were the archaeological, historical and ethnographic collections.

In 1993, the current Gothenburg City Museum was opened in the building, through a merger of the Gothenburg Archaeological Museum, the Gothenburg Historical Museum, the Gothenburg Museum of Industry, Gothenburg’s School History Collections and somewhat later the Gothenburg Museum of Theatre History, while the Gothenburg Ethnographic Museum moved out to premises in Gårda.

Swedish coffee pot

Stamp 3: Nordic Museum, Stockholm and Samisk Sked

The Nordic Museum (Nordiska museet) is a museum located on Djurgården, an island in central Stockholm, Sweden, dedicated to the cultural history and ethnography of Sweden from the early modern period (in Swedish history, it is said to begin in 1520) to the contemporary period. The museum was founded in the late 19th century by Artur Hazelius, who also founded the open-air museum Skansen. It was, for a long time, part of the museum, until the institutions were made independent of each other in 1963.

The museum was originally (1873) called the Scandinavian Ethnographic Collection (Skandinavisk-etnografiska samlingen), from 1880 the Nordic Museum. When Hazelius established the open-air museum Skansen in 1891, it was the second such museum in the world.

For the museum, Hazelius bought or got donations of objects like furniture, clothes and toys from all over Sweden and the other Nordic countries; he emphasized the peasant culture, but his successors increasingly started to collect objects reflecting bourgeois and urban lifestyles as well. For Skansen, he collected entire buildings and farms. Although the project did not initially get the government funding he had hoped, Hazelius received widespread support and donations and by 1898, the Society for the promotion of the Nordic Museum (Samfundet för Nordiska Museets främjande) had 4,525 members. The Riksdag allocated some money for the museums in 1891 and doubled the amount in 1900, the year before Hazelius died.

The Nordic Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, photographed on July 29, 2005.

The present building, the design of Isak Gustaf Clason, was completed in 1907 after a 19-year construction process. Originally, it was intended to be a national monument housing the material inheritance of the nation. It was, however, only half-completed for the Stockholm Exposition 1897, and it never was completed to the extent originally planned, three times the actual size. It takes its style from Dutch-influenced Danish Renaissance architecture rather than any specifically Swedish historical models. The core of the “cathedralesque” building is taken up by a huge main hall (126 meters long) passing through all the stories up to the roof and dominated by the enormous sculpture of King Gustav Vasa, the Swedish so called founder-king. For the construction, brick and granite was used for the walls, while concrete was used for the roof.

Sculpture on the western gable of the Nordic Museum, Stockholm, photographed by Holger Ellgaard on November 13, 2012.

The museum has over 1.5 million objects in its collections, including buildings such as the Julita farm in Södermanland, Svindersvik in Nacka, Tyresö Palace in Tyresö, and the chaplain farm at Härkeberga near Enköping. The museum archive also houses an extensive collection of documents and approximately 6 million photographs dating from the 1840s until today. The museum research library contains 3,800 shelf meters of literature from the 16th century and onward.

Stamp 4: Strykjarnet, Norrköping and Swedish Standard Time

Strykjärnet is a building in the middle of the Motala river in central Norrköping that was built in 1916-1917 in reinforced concrete in classicist style by architect Folke Bensow. Since 1991 it has been a listed building. The building gets its name from its peculiar shape, reminiscent of an iron. The shape is due to the fact that the building is built on the streamlined island of Laxholmen in the middle of the flow of the Motala River. Since there was a shortage of land around the stream, they wanted to use as much of the existing islet as possible. Therefore, the building got its slightly different shape, a seven-corner. Before the house was built, there were smaller wooden buildings on the island.

Strykjärnet in Norrköping photographed by Arild Vågen on May 12, 2012.

It was built for Holmens Bruks och Fabriks AB and originally housed the textile industry. Until 1934, the building, which is part of the industrial landscape, was used as a weaving mill. The work with textiles continued after that with, among other things, twisting, flushing, rolling, dressing and warping. During the 1960s, textile work was discontinued in connection with the textile crisis. In 1964, Holmens closed down the cotton industry and in 1970 the last parts of wool manufacturing disappeared. On the site, however, the industrial buildings remained. During the 1980s, industries began to operate on the site again. Since December 1991, the Museum of Labour has been housed here and the building has been run as an individual foundation.

Carl Milles has called Strykjärnet “the country’s most beautiful industrial building”.

Swedish standard time starts from the 15-degree meridian east length and coincides with the Central European time zone. The Swedish standard time was introduced on January 1, 1879, giving all localities in the country the same time, then called bourgeois time. The difference between Strömstad and Haparanda was previously 45 minutes, between Stockholm and Gothenburg 24 minutes. The standard time from 1879 used a meridian 12 time minutes, i.e. 3°, west of the meridian through Stockholm’s old observatory on Observatoriekullen near Odenplan (which is thus located at 18°3’17” E), which meant that Sweden’s time meridian then it was 15°3’17” east of Greenwich. In 1900, the time meridian was changed to exactly 15° east of Greenwich (Middle European time), which meant an adjustment of time by 14 seconds. This is the time meridian that is still used in Sweden.

What time to choose as standard time was not initially clear. Stockholm and Gothenburg were the strongest candidates. Railway time followed the time in Gothenburg so that passengers who followed local time would arrive too early, and not too late, to the train. It was something that could not be accepted in the capital. The debate raged in both houses of parliament and the investigations succeeded each other, because no one wanted to give in. For 15 years, the matter was debated before a compromise was reached: Swedish standard time should follow the meridian that runs approximately midway between Stockholm and Gothenburg and have a full hour’s time difference from Greenwich. This meridian runs in close proximity to Karlshamn, Växjö, Örebro and Östersund.

In 1879, Sweden was the first in the world to legislate for the introduction of standard time.

Stamp 5: Sjalevads Church and Bridal Crown

Själevads Church is the parish church of Själevads parish in the diocese of Härnösand. In 1998 it was named Sweden’s most beautiful church by the magazine Årets Runt‘s readers and in February 2020 it won the same title in a vote among the newspaper Dagens readers. From the octagonal church you have a view of Själevadsfjärden and the Moälven valley. The church is a popular wedding church and has a rich selection of music with many concerts during the year and several active choirs.

The present church replaced a medieval church that was nearby. The old church was a simple rectangular stone building with no tower consecrated to St. Olaf. Its interior walls were provided with paintings, which were covered over during a repair in the 1700s. On May 29, 1876, the demolition of the church began without permission being obtained. The church was so robustly built that it finally had to be blown up by explosives. The project was kept secret until its execution, as there were fears of violent protests by parishioners against the blast.

Själevad church, Sweden, photographed by Henrik Sendelbach on January 11, 2006.

Construction of the present church began in 1876 and was consecrated on September 12, 1880 by Bishop Lars Landgren. The style is partly neoclassical with column-adorned gables similar to a Greek temple and with a light and airy church room. The current roof dome of the ceiling was added during a renovation in 1923.

Traditionally a bridal crown (Brudkrone) is a headdress that, in Central and Northern Europe, single women wear on certain holidays, at festivals and, finally, at their wedding. Bridal crowns today, of another type, are also often provided by church parishes for the use of brides at their weddings.

Bridal crown of gold-plated brass probably cast in Sollerön or Mora during the 1800s. Donated to Grangärde church in 1919.

In Sweden, there is no evidence of any medieval bridal crown tradition. The oldest Swedish bridal crown is a madonna crown from the early 1500s, possibly descended from Vadstena abbey church, but has only after the Reformation in 1595 ended up in Brahe church on Visingsö and there served as a bridal crown. The oldest bridal crown made just for this purpose originates from Skepparslöv’s church and was made by Hans Guldsmeder in Vä in 1597. A bridal crown from Åker’s church in Småland dates from around 1600. Only in the early 1600s did bridal crowns become more common. The Church Order of 1571 reintroduced the fine provisions for “untimely bedfellowship” that had previously existed. There is no mention of bridal crowns. It took until the mid-1600s before bridal crowns began to become more common in Swedish churches. The bridal crown became part of the Church of Sweden’s struggle to strengthen the church wedding in relation to civil marriage.

Ecclesiastical marriage in Sweden and Finland did not become compulsory until the 1734 law. During the late 1800s, myrtle crowns became an alternative to the metal bridal crowns. During the war years 1943–1945, the magazine Husmodern had bridal crowns made of straw, which were sent to brides-to-be in the readership. In the first year, at least 500 bridal crowns in straw were distributed to readers.During the 1960s and 1970s, crocheting, frivolity and knotting became widely used techniques for producing bridal crowns.

Bridal crown in straw built on a wire rack. Princess model with five prongs.

At Swedish weddings in modern times, the bridal crown is not used as often as before, although it has never completely fallen out of use. The symbolic meaning has often completely disappeared and often smaller and more convenient crowns are preferred to the heavy ones of the past. As a practicing silversmith or goldsmith, many are engaged in the manufacture of church silver and the design or design and manufacture of bridal crowns. Many other materials such as birch bark, wood, glass, roots, straw, human hair, real and imitation pearls and real and imitation stones, thread in various materials, paper, plastic and myrtle are also used in the design and manufacture of today’s modern bridal crowns. The techniques also vary greatly; from textile yarn techniques, woodworking, “cut and paste techniques” to gold and silversmithing. Now a bridal crown can largely resemble a diadem, reminiscent of a tiara, or sit a bit down the forehead, like a forehead jewelry.

Coil Stamp: Stockholm City Hall

Stockholm City Hall (Stockholms stadshus) is the seat of Stockholm Municipality in Stockholm, Sweden. It stands on the eastern tip of Kungsholmen island, next to Riddarfjärden’s northern shore and facing the islands of Riddarholmen and Södermalm. It houses offices and conference rooms as well as ceremonial halls. It is the venue of the Nobel Prize banquet and is one of Stockholm’s major tourist attractions.

In 1907, the city council decided to build a new city hall at the former site of Eldkvarn. An architectural design competition was held, which first resulted in the selection of drafts by Ragnar Östberg, Carl Westman, Ivar Tengbom jointly with Ernst Torulf, and Carl Bergsten. After a further competition between Westman and Östberg, the latter was assigned the construction of the City Hall, while the former was asked to build Stockholm Court House. Östberg modified his original draft using elements of Westman’s design, including the tower. During construction, Östberg constantly reworked his plans, resulting in the addition of the lantern on top of the tower, and the abandonment of the blue glazed tiles in the Blue Hall.

Stockholm City Hall facing northeast, photographed by Holger.Ellgaard on July 14, 2012.

Oskar Asker was employed as construction leader and Paul Toll, of builders Kreuger & Toll, designed the foundations. Georg Greve also assisted in preparing the plans. Construction took twelve years, from 1911 to 1923. Nearly eight million red bricks were used. The dark red bricks, called “munktegel” (monks’s brick) because of their traditional use in the construction of monasteries and churches, were provided by Lina brickworks of Södertälje. The building was inaugurated on June 23, 1923, exactly 400 years after Gustav Vasa’s arrival in Stockholm. Verner von Heidenstam and Hjalmar Branting delivered the inauguration speeches.

Stockholm City Hall is an example of National Romantic style. The site, overlooking Riddarfjärden, inspired a central motif, namely the juxtaposition of city architecture and water that represents a central feature of Stockholm’s cityscape as a whole. The hall’s style is one of refined eclecticism, blending massive, austere, Northern European brick construction with whimsical elements reminiscent of Venetian Gothic architecture, such as turrets adorned with golden starlets, decorated balconies, wooden masts, and statues.

Stockholm City Hall photographed at dusk on September 13, 2010.

The Blue Hall, with its straight walls and arcades, incorporates elements of a formal courtyard. Its walls are in fact without blue decorations; the name derives from Östberg’s first draft and is notable as the dining hall where banquets are held after the annual Nobel Prize award ceremony. The organ in the Blue Hall, with its 10,270 pipes, is the largest in Scandinavia. Above the Blue Hall lies the Golden Hall (Gyllene Salen), named after the decorative mosaics made of more than 18 million tiles. The mosaics make use of motifs from Swedish history. They were executed by the Berlin, Germany, firm of Puhl & Wagner (Gottfried Heinersdorff), after nine years of negotiations by Gottfried Heinersdorff (1883-1941) for the commission.

The southeast corner of the building, immediately adjacent to the shore, is dominated by a monumental tower topped with the Three Crowns, the Swedish national symbol. The tower is 106 meters high and is accessible by lift or a 365-step staircase. The eastern side of its base is decorated with the gold-plated cenotaph of 13th century Swedish statesman Birger Jarl.

Miniature Sheet

500 Years of Sweden
Date of issue: January 12, 2023
Design: Eva Wilsson
Illustration: Graham Samuels, based on photos.
Photos: Kalmar Castle/Jörgen Tannerstedt, Nordic Museum/Alexander Asall, Strykjärnet building/Peter Holgersson, Själevad Church/ Robbin Norgren.
Colors: Four-color + prioritaire 1 color
Paper: Self-adhesive (booklet).
Gummed (Souvenir sheet)
Format – booklet stamps: 49.1 x 26.5 mm
Format – coil stamps: 36.6 x 26.5 mm
Format – stamps in souvenir sheet: 50 x 30 mm
Dimensions, souvenir sheet: 130 x 157 mm

Jan. 12, 2023

Queen Silvia Definitive

On January 12, 2023, a single definitive stamp bearing a portrait of Queen Silvia will be released by Sweden Postnord in coils of 100. This series, designed by A-L Ahlström and Daniel Bjugård, first appeared in 2017. The new color — a golden bronze — is denominated at 30 krona, the current postage for sending items of up to 50 grams abroad.

Silvia Renate Sommerlath was born in Heidelberg, Germany, on December 23, 1943, the only daughter of Alice (née Soares de Toledo) and Walther Sommerlath. Her father was German and her mother was Brazilian. She has one older brother, Ralf Sommerlath (born 1929). Her other brothers were Walther Sommerlath, who died in 2020, and Jörg Sommerlath, who died in 2006. The Mother-Child House Jörg Sommerlath in Berlin, operated by Queen Silvia’s World Childhood Foundation, is named after her brother.

She attended high school in Düsseldorf, graduating in 1963; and attended the Munich School of Interpreting from 1965 to 1969, majoring in Spanish. She has some fluency in Swedish Sign Language, a national sign language used by the deaf community in Sweden. She is a trained interpreter and Swedish is her sixth language. She speaks her native German, her mother’s language of Portuguese, as well as French, Spanish, and English.

During the 1972 Summer Olympics, Silvia Sommerlath met Crown Prince Carl Gustaf. At the time, she was leading a marketing campaign for the city of Munich. Sommerlath and the other Olympic hostesses wore sky-blue dirndls to promote Bavarian cultural identity. After the death of King Gustaf VI Adolf on September 15, 1973, Carl XVI Gustaf succeeded to the throne. He and Silvia announced their engagement on March 12, 1976, and were married three months later, on June 19 in Stockholm Cathedral. It was the first marriage of a reigning Swedish monarch since 1797. The wedding was preceded, the evening before, by a Royal Variety Performance, where the Swedish musical group ABBA performed “Dancing Queen” for the very first time, as a tribute to Sweden’s future queen.

The King and Queen of Sweden have three children and eight grandchildren.

In July 2002, the Queen became the subject of international curiosity when an article published in the syndicalist newspaper Arbetaren reported that German state archives record that the Queen’s father, Walther Sommerlath, joined the Nazi party’s foreign wing, the NSDAP/AO, in 1934, when he was living in Brazil and working for a German steel company. In December 2010, Queen Silvia wrote a letter of complaint to Jan Scherman, the CEO of TV4, the network that had aired a documentary about her father’s alleged Nazi past.

Queen Silvia commissioned a report from World War II expert Erik Norberg, a choice that was criticized due to Norberg having ties to the royal family. In his report, Norberg argued that the Queen’s father had in fact helped the owner of the steel-fabrication plant, a Jewish businessperson, escape from Germany by taking over the factory. In a December 2011 interview for Channel 1 with Sweden’s public service broadcaster Sveriges Television, Silvia called the media’s handling of the information about her father “character assassination”.

Queen Silvia 2023
Date of issue: January 12, 2023
Design: Daniel Bjugård
Photos: Anna-Lena Ahlström
Colors: 5 colors
Paper: Self-adhesive
Format – coil stamps: 26.5 x 26.25 mm

One thought on “Stamps of 2023: Sweden (January 2023)

  1. Pingback: Stamps of 2023: Monthly Wrap-Up (January) | Mark Joseph Jochim

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